The Packard Campus Theater programs events year round, usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The schedule for each month is posted approximately two weeks in advance. Short subjects are presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.
In case of inclement weather, for screenings at the Packard Campus Theater, check the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 no sooner than three hours before show time to see if the movie has been cancelled.
Need directions to the theatre? Click here
For more information about how to attend, go to the “About the Theater” link at the top of this page.
Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
Friday, April 22 (7:30 p.m.)
CITIZEN’S BAND (aka HANDLE WITH CARE) (Paramount, 1977)
The CB radio was at its peak of popularity and impact when this clever comedy was released, but still it failed to find an audience. The film has languished ever since and has not been released on DVD, in spite of being one of Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme’s earliest efforts. “Citizen’s Band” reunited Paul Le Mat and Candy Clark from the cast of “American Graffiti” with Le Mat as Spider, a beleaguered Nebraskan CB radio repairman and volunteer first-responder to local highway emergencies. Clark plays his ex-fiancée, one of too many local CB operators in the area who are hilariously but dangerously misusing the Citizen’s Band, leading Spider to launch a one-man crusade against a rogue’s gallery of homegrown troublemakers with handles like “The Red Baron,” “The Hustler,” and “Chrome Angel” that he can hear, but not see.
Color, 98 minutes
Saturday, April 23 (2 p.m.)
THE WIZ (Universal, 1978)
Charlie Smalls’s jazzy, updated version of “The Wizard of Oz” won seven Tony Awards on Broadway in 1975, and was brought to the screen three years later with Diana Ross taking the lead role of a grown up, urban Dorothy that Stephanie Mills originated on Broadway. In spite of a wonderful score, Oscar winner Sidney Lumet’s direction and an all start cast that included Michael Jackson as Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as the Tinman, Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch, and Richard Pryor in the title role, “The Wiz” was not a major hit, though the soundtrack album was a bestseller. The film, its music, and its message found an audience over the years, and the 2015 live network television production of the show created further interest in it.
Color, 134 minutes
Saturday, April 23 (7:30 p.m.)
SOUL POWER (Sony Pictures Classics, 2008)
As part of the build-up to the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight title bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, three nights of all-star concerts were held in the capital city of Kinshasa to celebrate the music and culture of Africa and the Americas. Due to legal problems, the film of these concerts went unseen for thirty four years, when it was finally assembled by director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and billed as “the greatest musical festival you have never seen.” Indeed! “Soul Power” features James Brown, the Spinners, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Sister Sledge, the Crusaders, Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masakela, Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz and the Fania All-Stars at the peak of their careers in an amazing montage of live performances, along with Muhammad Ali himself. “Soul Power” had a successful theatrical run in 2008, when critic A.O. Scott observed that “it offers a vivid glimpse of a fascinating moment in musical history…A tremendous amount of work clearly went into the Zaire ’74 festival and into winnowing its bounty into a feature film… and the intense labor of the performers is also in evidence. You understand the effort and practice involved in making something that seems so spontaneous, natural and free. ‘Soul Power,’ as aptly and succinctly titled a movie as I have ever seen, takes you to a place where the discipline that produces great popular art is indistinguishable from the ecstasy that art creates.”
Color, 92 minutes
Friday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.)
GLAM AND METAL ROCK DOC DOUBLE FEATURE
ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (20th Century Fox, 1973)
On July 3rd, 1973, David Bowie assumed his “Ziggy Stardust” persona on stage for the last time, joined by his band “The Spiders from Mars.” Documentarist D.A. Pennebaker was originally retained by RCA Victor to shoot about twenty minutes of the show for a promotional film, but after seeing Bowie’s July 2nd concert, decided that "there was a full-length film here asking to be made" and quickly assembled a small crew on short notice to capture the full concert. The result is a rough but compelling document of one of rock’s greatest performers at the peak of the first phase of his career, fronting the band that helped first define him for audiences. The interplay between Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson is particularly memorable. The film did not receive a theatrical release in 1983.
Color, 90 minutes
THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION PART II: THE METAL YEARS (New Line Cinema, 1988 – R-rated *)
Director Penelope Spheeris’s often-hilarious film showcases the inhabitants of L.A.’s then-burgeoning metal culture. Chris Holmes (of Wasp) gives a frightening poolside monologue, while Ozzy Osbourne, seen at home frying eggs, is charming. Also seen are Alice Cooper, Poison, and members of Aerosmith, KISS and Motörhead. With live footage of Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, Lizzie Borden, London, Odin and Seduce.” The film is a sequel to Spheeris’s 1981 documentary of the L.A. punk rock scene.*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 93 minutes
Saturday, April 30 (2 p.m.)
THE STORY OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN (United Artists, 1953)
Robert Morley and Maurice Evens portray William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, who conquered the worlds of theater and music in the nineteenth century with their still-beloved operettas. This English Technicolor production features the legendary D’Oyle Carte Opera Company, which was an integral part of Gilbert & Sullivan story, premiering all fourteen of their collaborations, and carrying on their legacy until 1982. In the film, the 1950s company is seen performing excerpts from “Trial by Jury” (1875), “H.M.S. Pinafore” (1878), “The Pirates of Penzance” (1879), “Iolanthe” (1882), “The Mikado” (1885), “Ruddigore” (1887), “The Yeomen of the Guard” (1888) and “The Gondoliers” (1889). When the film reached the U.S. in late 1953, Washington Post critic Richard L. Coe wrote: “Apart from giving us Gilbert and Sullivan as it should be done…the film’s major virtue is a blithe, satirical charm. By approximating W.S. Gilbert’s whimsical approach to this mysterious world of humans, the Sidney Gilliat-Leslie Baily script scampers through the two lives with a warm, catching honesty.”
Color, 109 minutes
Saturday, April 30 (7:30 p.m.)
“OUTLAW” COUNTRY MUSIC DOUBLE FEATURE
WILLIE NELSON’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION (Alston/Zanich International, 1979 – R-rated *)
Since 1973, Willie Nelson has hosted his annual 4th of July celebrations at various locations, mainly in Texas. The second of these was a three day festival that drew tens of thousands of fans to the Texas World Speedway in College Station to hear Willie, Waylon Jennings, Leon Russell, Doug Kershaw, B.W. Stevenson, the Lost Gonzo Band, Michael Murphey and many others. It was filmed by a loose consortium of production crews that included NBC’s “Midnight Special.” Performance clips were seen on television, but the planned theatrical documentary was held up for several years by disagreements among the backers, filmmakers and performers and only saw a limited release in 1979. The film captures country music’s uninhibited, free-living “outlaw” community on its home turf just as it was about break nationally. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 100 minutes
OUTLAW COUNTRY (aka HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS) (First Run Features, 1981)
“The best music and the best whiskey come from the same part of the country” the posters for this rarely seen documentary declared. A more intimate look at the outlaws of 1970s country than “Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Celebration,” it features artists Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, David Allan Coe, Charlie Daniels, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Larry Jon Wilson, Steve Young and Barefoot Jerry in both formal and informal settings including a recording studio, a high school gymnasium and the Tennessee State Prison. Though it was released in 1981, the film was shot in late 1975.
Color, 92 minutes
Thursday, May 5 (7:30 p.m.)
VALYA BALKANSKA IN CONCERT
Valya Balkanska is one of Bulgaria's greatest treasures. Her name is equivalent to "The Bulgarian voice in outer space". The most famous voice of Bulgaria, symbol of the "Rhodope song" is also called the phenomenon in the Bulgarian folklore. The glamorous career of the talented Balkanska, born in the Rhodopes mountains, began with the song "Izlel e Delyu Haidutin." This particular song together with twenty-seven other musical performances was sent to space in August 1977 with US Voyager. Bach, Mozart and Louis Armstrong are among the music accompanying the Bulgarian song in its 6,000-year-long journey. First among Bulgarians, Balkanska has been honored by UNESCO as "citizen of the planet" for her contribution to the popularization of Bulgarian culture. She also features in the "Time Magazine" gallery of persons symbolizing the future of Europe. A legend in her own country, Valya Balkanska is very much a legend in space, too, the US magazine says.
Live, approximately 120 minutes
Friday, May 6 (7:30 p.m.)
PAY OR DIE (Allied Artists, 1960)
After he scored a big hit with the 1959 picture “Al Capone,” Allied Artists hired director/producer Richard Wilson for another Italian mobster movie, this one set in early twentieth-century New York City. The story is based on the actual account of New York Police Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino (played with gritty realism by Ernest Borgnine), an Italian American police detective who earned the respect of the immigrants in Little Italy and formed the Italian Squad of the police department in 1905 to battle “The Black Hand,” the old Sicilian term for the Mafia. Borgnine spoke fluent Italian so had no trouble with the Italian dialogue used throughout the film. Wilson directs in a docu-realist style and Lucien Ballard’s unobtrusive black and white photography brings out the period detail in the street scene sets.
Black & white, 111 minutes
Saturday, May 7 (2 p.m.)
HESTER STREET (Midwest Films, 1975)
Writer-director Joan Micklin Silver's first feature-length film, "Hester Street" was an adaption of preeminent Yiddish author Abraham Cahan's 1896 well-received first novel "Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto.” The film brought to the screen a portrait of Eastern European Jewish life in America that historians have praised for its accuracy of detail and sensitivity to the challenges immigrants faced during their acculturation process. Shot in black-and-white and partly in Yiddish with English subtitles, the independent production focuses on stresses that occur when a "greenhorn" wife, played by Carol Kane (nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal), and her young son arrive in New York City to join her Americanized husband. Silver, one of the first women directors of American features to emerge during the women's liberation movement, shifted the story’s emphasis from the husband, as in the novel, to the wife. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2011.
Black & white, 89 minutes
Saturday, May 7 (7:30 p.m.)
RAGTIME (Paramount, 1981)
Based on E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling historical novel of the same name, this multifaceted story, set in the New York City area from 1902 until 1912, weaves together the stories of both fictional and historically prominent characters such as Stanford White, Evelyn Nesbit, Harry Houdini, and Booker T. Washington. Perhaps best remembered today as the film that brought James Cagney back to the big screen after a twenty-year absence, the huge ensemble cast includes other seasoned veterans, such as Donald O’Connor and Pat O’Brien, as well as a number of actors in the early days of their careers, such as Mandy Patinkin, Mary Steenburgen, Debbie Allen, and Jeff Daniels in his screen debut. Elizabeth McGovern and Howard E. Rollins Jr. both received Best Supporting Acting nominations. Directed by Milos Forman, the film garnered six additional Oscar nominations including Randy Newman for Best Original Score, Miroslav Ondrícek for Best Cinematography and Michael Weller for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Color, 155 minutes
Friday, May 13 (7:30 p.m.)
COME ON DOWN! - A TV GAME SHOW RETROSPECTIVE (1950-1970)
The password is “FUN” as the Packard Campus digs into the vaults and “comes on down” for this one-night retrospective of some of TV’s biggest game show moments. From such 1950’s staples as “What’s My Line?” up through the fill-in-the-blank madness of “Match Game” and the heart-pounding tension of “Name That Tune!,” this clip-fest is better than the “big money round” and, best of all, there’s no “Whammies” in sight! But, wait, there’s more! Along with a few surprises, we promise you many down-to-the-wire moments; many, many buzzers, and a lot of Betty White!
Color and black & white, approximately 120 minutes
Saturday, May 14 (2 p.m.)
OVER THE HEDGE (DreamWorks, 2006)
The late Gary Shandling provided the voice of Verne the Turtle with Bruce Willis as the fearless raccoon RJ in this animated family-friendly comedy based on the characters from the United Media comic strip of the same name. When a feisty group of woodland critters awake from a winter hibernation to discover that suburban sprawl has invaded their forest, mild-mannered Verne thinks they should give up and move on while the ever-scheming RJ sees it as a chance to hoard food from their unsuspecting new neighbors. The voice cast also includes Steve Carell, William Shatner and Wanda Sykes. Film critic Richard Roeper said “Over the Hedge” is cute without being cutesy, satirical without being too cynical, and just a whole lot of fun.” The film was nominated for seven Annie Awards, (for accomplishments in animation), winning two.
Color, 123 minutes
Sunday, May 15 (7 p.m.)
MARTY STUART PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH THE FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES (Live) - SOLD OUT
The Packard Campus Theatre will play host to an evening of conversation and concert with Country Music band The Fabulous Superlatives: Harry Stinson, Kenny Vaughan, Chris Scruggs and, of course, Marty Stuart. The first in a series of music events with Stuart, the evening celebrates the acquisition of the audio-visual portion of Marty Stuart’s vast collection of country music artifacts by the Library of Congress. We will be taking reservations for this free event, beginning on April 20 at by voice mail. Call 202-707-9994 between 9 am – 4 pm Monday-Friday and leave your name, the number of reservations you would like (limit four per call), and a phone number and email address you can be reached at in the event that reservation requests exceed the number of seats available. Reservations will be held until 15 minutes before show time.
Live, approximately 120 minutes
Thursday, May 19 (7:30 p.m.)
WHAT’S UP DOC? - A CLOSE-UP OF WARNER BROS. LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, PART 1 (Warner Bros., 1932-1951)
Special guest Rick Gehr, a cartoon historian, editor, and member of the Warner Bros. animation post-production crew for nearly thirty years, will be at the Packard Campus for two special evenings to talk about and present classic Warner Bros. cartoons. Tonight’s program focuses on the “History of the Cartoon Characters,” including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner among others. Among the titles being shown are “A Wild Hare,” “Fast and Furry-ous” and “Lovelorn Leghorn.”
Color and black & white, approximately 110 minutes
Friday, May 20 (7:30 p.m.)
WHAT’S UP DOC? - A CLOSE-UP OF WARNER BROS. LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, PART 2 (Warner Bros., 1939-1957)
Cartoon historian Rick Gehr returns to present a second night of Warner Bros. animated shorts, this time examining the “History of the Cartoon Directors.” Favorite examples of the work of Friz Freleng, Tex Avery, Robert Clampett, Robert McKimson and Chuck Jones will be shown. On the play list are the live action/animation classic “You Ought To Be In Pictures” featuring Daffy Duck and Porky Pig matching wits with Producer Leon Schlesinger as himself, “Thugs With Dirty Mugs,” “Feed the Kitty,” and “What’s Opera, Doc?”
Color, approximately 110 minutes
Saturday, May 21 (2 p.m.)
A TRIBUTE TO DENNIS R. ATKINSON
Many individuals have made generous donations of motion pictures to The Library of Congress throughout the years and tonight we honor one of those donors, Dennis R. Atkinson. Beginning in 1969, Atkinson has endowed the Library with more than 350 titles in both nitrate and safety film and in 35mm and 16mm formats. To this end, we celebrate Atkinson’s collection and enthusiasm, which continues unabated to this day with four rarely seen silent films that have been preserved by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab. They are the 1926 Action Pictures Western “Twisted Triggers” starring Wally Wales (aka Hal Taliaferro) and Jean Arthur and three comedy shorts: “Starvation Blues” (1925), “Bungalow Love” (1921), and “Ko Koo Kids” (1922). Silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis will be on hand to provide live musical accompaniment for the program.
Black & white, approximately 120 minutes
Thursday, May 26 (7:30 p.m.)
SINK THE BISMARCK! (20th Century-Fox, 1960)
The true story of the Royal Navy’s chase and sinking of Nazi Germany's most powerful warship, the Bismarck, is chronicled in this British drama based on the book “Last Nine Days of the Bismarck” by C. S. Forester. Although war films were common in the 1960s, “Sink the Bismarck!” something of an anomaly, as much of its time is devoted to the unsung back-room planners as much as on the combatants themselves. Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Mohner and Laurence Naismith are featured in the cast of “Sink the Bismarck!” which is being screened as a tribute to the 75th anniversary of the actual event.Black & white, 97 minutes
Last Updated: 04/27/2016